Today’s Short Poems: Kiss a Babbling Brook and Galactica

Kiss a Babbling Brook


Kiss a babbling brook,
It will gladly quench your thirst,
With crisp, clear water.

Kiss raging rapids,
You’ll be crushed against the rocks,
And drown, thirst unquenched.

Calm waters sustain,
Turgid ones excite us more,
Danger alway does.

Galactica

Cylons and humans,
Can end their war, choose peace,
Why oh why can’t we.

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I highly recommend an article by one of my closest friends and most trusted colleague, Dr. William Raynor, “Toxic Globalization and The Catholic Framework for Economic Life” available by clicking here.

Bill and I previously served together for 12 years as professors at SUNY Delhi. He applies a faith-based perspective to his field (finance) in this and a number of his prior articles. His impressive academic credentials aside, he is one of the finest, most principled human beings I have ever known. In the acknowledgments to one of my recent textbooks I wrote about him in part “When I meet St. Peter at the Pearly Gates and he asks me ‘Why should I allow you to enter?’ the best answer I can give is ‘Bill Raynor was my friend.'”

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Free download of Echoes of the Mind’s Eye: 13 Speculative Fiction Short Stories ends today (Tuesday, January 18, 2022).

You can download a copy of the ebook version of my latest book of short stories through midnight PST tonight (1/18/22) only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1056565.

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Writing Sets Us Free (and free short story book link)


Writing sets us free,
To transform that which now is,
To what it could be.

Render for others,
The world from new perspectives,
So that they may see.

One word at a time,
Ours the power to create,
A new universe.

Share my worlds with me,
A journey of the mind’s eye,
With lessons to teach.

Download my book free
But just for two days this month
At the below link.

(January 17-18, 2022 you can download my book of short stories, Echoes of the Mind’s Eye, free of charge, but only at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/1056565

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Sonnet To a Friendly Critic

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My novel and newest book of poetry free through January 15, 2022

For two days only you can down load the ebook versions of both my novel and my newest book of poems but only at the links below. The books are available at Amazon, B&N, Walmart and other bookseller sites in print and ebook versions, but this sale is only valid through Smashwords at the links below.

Echoes of Dawn at Dusk: Collected Poems, Volume 2

Hire Lernin’ An Idealist’s Quest Through the Realm of for-Profit Education

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On Childhood

Childhood
Wonder in all things,
Magic, trust, discovery,
Joy in simple play.

Childhood’s End
A child is transfixed,
By a rainbow in full bloom,
Adults curse the rain.

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Today’s Points to Ponder

Ever notice . . .


The louder the man,
The weaker his argument,
The smaller his brain.

On Truth

Opinions are made of flexible cloth,
That can adapt to drape any body,
Regardless of how strange or fine its shape.

Truth is made of rigid, hard, brittle cloth,
That must be worn exactly as it comes,
Alter it for comfort’s sake, and it breaks.

On News Reporting


Education is the lie you believe.
Propaganda is the truth you dislike.

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God is Dead

My original poem (from Of Pain and Ecstasy: Collected Poems)

god is dead
he died of a bad review
in Entertainment Tonight
that accused him of being
a fascist
and a
prude

he is being replaced
by a new
non-sectarian trinity
of
Me, Myself and I
all of whom
are free
to kill god
and say
god is dead,
dead is god
god dead is,
is god dead

I think I have heard
somebody suggest
(and therefore I have)
that the depaftment of health
will soon issue
antiexistentialistdespairpills
to every man, woman and child
sitting in front of their tv
waiting
for
godot


My updated version in brief (2022)

Man’s hubris kills God,
Creates a new trinity,
Me, Myself and I.

God not woke enough,
Evil, sin,… too judgmental,
Religion’s passé.

Thugs are now victims,
Do onto others… then run,
The new religion.

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When Men Rape Nature

When men rape nature,
Sterile children may be born,
Of concrete and steel.

Angles sharp and tall,
They grow to the sky daily,
On their mother’s grave.

Then in false homage,
They build a fake monument,
With locks of mom’s hair.

This is Central Park,
A manufactured green space,
For all that was killed.

Malodorous meat,
Offered to the hungry dogs,
Who think it prime beef.


This poem is a variation on a theme I wrote about when still in College titled “Central Park”. You can read that original poem here. You can also hear me read “Central Park” in one of my podcasts by clicking here.

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Hire Lernin’ teaser #4: The adventure begins

Few things shine as bright,
As a new adventure’s start,
Hope springs eternal.

Siren’s song beckons,
Calling us towards the rocks,
Will our course hold true?

If the course is true,
The vision clear and focused,
All may yet end well.

Battles may be won,
Pyrrhic victories are these,
If innocence lost.

This is another teaser, likely the last one, for my novel “Hire Lernin’: An Idealist’s Quest through the Realm of for-Profit Education.” You can sample 20 percent of the book free by using the “look inside” feature at Amazon. You can also hear me read the first nine chapters of the novel free (links to my podcast with information and links to full chapter readings are available here.

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Hire Lernin’ teaser #4: The adventure begins

Few things shine as bright,
As a new adventure’s start,
Hope springs eternal.

Siren’s song beckons,
Calling us towards the rocks,
Will our course hold true?

If the course is true,
The vision clear and focused,
All may yet end well.

Battles may be won,
Pyrrhic victories are these,
If innocence lost.

This is another teaser, likely the last one, for my novel “Hire Lernin’: An Idealist’s Quest through the Realm of for-Profit Education.” You can sample 20 percent of the book free by using the “look inside” feature at Amazon. You can also hear me read the first nine chapters of the novel free (links to my podcast with information and links to full chapter readings are available here.

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Hire Lernin’ (teaser #3) – The Interview

Apply for dream job,
Three days later interviewed,
Next day job offered

Would you celebrate?
Jubilation or caution?
Dream job or nightmare?

Chapter 3 details,
An actual interview,
Which one will it be?


Chapter 3 of my novel details the protagonist’s interview for a dean’s position in a proprietary, for-profit business school. Although the novel is fiction, this chapter (as with many others) closely parallels my own experience in my first academic posting for a similar position in NYC in the late 1980s. My girlfriend’s reaction at the time (now my wife) parallels the protagonist’s girlfriend’s reactions exactly. Some of the humor in these early chapters–including the examples used by the protagonist’s girlfriend in holding up a mirror to his naivete are also based on my actual experiences–including the four gentlemen in a car offering me a management-training position at a bus stop while I waited for a bus to take me to my part-time job. Fact is often stranger than fiction, and common sense is too often inversely proportional to intelligence–especially when dealing with idealists of all ages. You can hear me read chapter 3 through one of my podcasts (always free, of course) at https://open.spotify.com/episode/010rh4IXuWDL6HNtZgYTbC?si=LFpj8qehTB2PyTXTLPVrvw. You can also preview 20% of the novel and most of my current published books at my Amazon author’s page (https://www.amazon.com/Victor-D.-L%25C3%25B3pez/e/B001KMII74%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share) or at any major bookseller’s site. As always, thank you for your support.

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Hire Lernin’ (teaser #2) – Whom does the law serve?


Whom does the law serve?
Society and justice?
Or is it lawyers?


As I hope is true of all of my fiction, my novel has many layers and subtexts that are intended to both entertain and expose readers to ideas and concepts that I hope will leave them thinking after they put down the book. Like my favorite contemporary novelist, Dean Koontz, there have always been threads of social commentary throughout my modest published fiction (and poetry). In this novel, beyond the obvious criticism leveled at for-profit education, I touch on a variety of other serious issues in both direct and subtle ways. In Chapter 2, for example, I briefly explore the theme of this short poem using humor to temper deadly serious criticism of some aspects of my profession. You can hear my reading of chapters one and two through one of my podcasts at
https://open.spotify.com/episode/2NelIPfgWki5B8pBmpex8p?si=tHzSx79oSrif1awDyNIRRg and
https://open.spotify.com/episode/1NeYlH158LslBXOwQa0Ikz?si=80biKWFUSjaIxRdYPuidbg respectively.

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No Sweeter Perfume

No sweeter perfume,

That the warm, familiar scent,

Of the one you love.

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40 % off coupon for my novel through January 15, 2022

To celebrate our brand new year (and in hopes that it may bring all of us a notable improvement over the last two years) I have created a 40% off coupon valid until January 15, 2022 but only at Smashwords. (The regular retail price is $4.95 and the price with the coupon will be $2.97). To take advantage of this sale, you can click on the following link and copy and paste the coupon code GL56P in the coupon box at checkout: Click here for the link.

About the novel (from the Smashwords book page):

This novel involves the bittersweet journey of a young, idealistic, naïve attorney who takes on the role of academic dean at a for-profit business school in New York City in the late 1980s knowing very little about the industry. Unable to accept the way things are, he immediately launches into a personal quest to change lives for the better in an environment where only the bottom-line matters. Hard work and an entrepreneurial spirit quickly propel him to professional success, but at a deep personal cost in the process as he learns critical life-altering lessons about himself, about leadership, about for-profit and not-for-profit higher education, and about love.

If you would like to hear several hours worth of full-chapter readings, you can find links to my relevant podcasts by clicking here. Free previews of 20% of the novel are also available at Smashwords, Amazon and most booksellers.

I hope you will take a look or listen to my cold readings of my own work. The novel is fiction based on my experience in circumstances similar to those of the protagonist. As always, I am grateful for your support.

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Mergs (or, Why Godot Can’t Come . . .) Teaser

Drunkard, homeless, god,

With billions of supplicants,

Preying for his help.

You can hear my reading of a preview of my short story by the same name at https://open.spotify.com/episode/0i6GfdaVIaE00rZR6rMWHK?si=hLLzjfmGQwKcaJppZtzHRA.

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Eternal Quest

Why do we search for truth,
In all the wrong places?

Why do we trample true love,
Eyes fixed on the horizon?

Why do we build the crosses,
On which we are crucified?

Why do we sacrifice ourselves,
On altar to our ego?

Why do we discard the pure,
In Quixotic quests for the perfect?

Why do we always find answers,
Only when it is too late?


This free verse piece is inspired by one of my earliest and still my favorite short story, Eternal Quest. I wrote the original version, largely unchanged but for some light editing, when a freshman in college. There are layers to the story–unrequited love, split loyalties, friendship, philosophy, human frailty, and the duality of the human spirit–that were beyond my years and are still central to the core of who I am today. I am older but not much wiser than my former young, old soul grappling with what it means to be human and to learn inconvenient lessons we prefer to ignore. You can hear me read cold reading of about half of this short story/novelette in one of my podcasts at https://open.spotify.com/episode/6c9kOS2skPxzNJaYtquQKR?si=-DFvQA6gTHW61H5RKWnzuA (a professionally produced version by voice talent Dale Wilcox is also included in the audiobook version of my short story collection, Mindscapes distributed by Audible and Amazon).

Stand-alone short story (ebook) available at Amazon and other booksellers.

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End of Days – poem and link to preview reading

Scientists’ hubris,
Terrorists’ evil cunning,
End our universe.

Black holes and Big Bangs,
New theory will reveal,
their close interplay.

Dark vision of truth,
The end of the world revealed,
Already begun.

You can hear me read about half of my short story by the same name in my podcast at https://open.spotify.com/episode/2UaNRr1aRdran3DEcidYu9?si=S1Gy0KlISFyRzTUxnj5KtA


This is a teaser for my short story End of days from my Echoes of the Mind’s Eye collection. It is by far the darkest, most disturbing and most plausible scenario for events that will soon lead to not just the end of the world, but the eventual end of our corner of the multiverse. This story posits a novel theory of cosmology and offers a warning about the dangers of providing extremely expensive, dangerous toys to individuals who for all of their collective intelligence are little more than the brightest amoebas attempting to understand the complexities of the multiverse by examining in minutest detail the fetid drop of pond water they inhabit atop a leaf drifting in a stagnant pond.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0099AQL0K/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i21

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Today’s Haikus

The Rose

Possess not the rose,
Once cut, it bleeds, withers, dies,
In freedom, it blooms.

Photo (c) Victor D. Lopez 2010, 2021

Busy Bees

Busy bees fret not,
For their endless toil will yield,
Sweetest recompense.

Photo (c) Victor D. Lopez 2010, 2021

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Justice


When conformity,
Is imposed by government,
Tyranny has won.

If freedom of thought,
Comes at the cost of one’s life,
It is worth the price.

Hear me read my short story with the same name at the following link:

https://open.spotify.com/episode/7oEx2bqyLeKqlPCwm25XMe?si=giVmk2xfTZuUetweuhx7tw

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Redemption: Haiku teaser and link to my reading of the complete short story

Success obsessed man,
Beautiful apparition,
A life turned around?

You can hear me read a preview of my short story by the same name at https://open.spotify.com/episode/5JMPqo2zjpjeQNdykL7920?si=_UfXMsjfTKyROXQhw9MNjA
A young executive on a self-engrossed path meets a beautiful apparition at a friend’s party that has him take an unvarnished look at his life. Will he change his ways?

This is one of the 13 short stories from my Echoes of the Mind’s Eye collection.

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Madness


Why do we explore,
All dark, pothole-riddled streets,
Not bright open roads?

Why do we stumble,
On the same obvious rock,
Time and time again?

Why is it we vote,
For mendacious fools each year,
Hoping for a change?

Are we that obtuse?
Do we thrive with pain, failure?
Or are we insane?

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A Christmas Poem for All Seasons


God made flesh is born,
Innocent, pure lamb of God,
To die for our sins.

There’s no greater love,
Nor is there a greater hope,
For all who believe.

Unwortrhy am I
And yet He still died for me,
Forgives me my sins.

Believers rejoice,
But let us all remember,
He loves ALL of us.

Believers and non,
All humans are our brothers,
And our sisters too.

Let us not forget,
God made man came to teach us,
To love, not to hate.

Whether you believe,
That He is the Son of God,
Or you believe not.

Believe in His message,
Love your neighbor as yourself,
Regardless of faith.

People of good will,
Embrace at least the message,
Of the messenger.

May you each know peace,
Health and joy throughout your lives,
This my Christmas wish.

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Most Prized Christmas Gift


Most prized Christmas gift,
Humble table, a meal shared,
With loved ones still here.

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